More: Boasting in God


Romans 5:6-11 ESV

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Every day ought to be the time when we give thanks to God, praising him for his goodness to us. He gives us life, what is necessary to sustain life, what makes life comfortable, and he even gives people joy (Ac 14:17). Those who know our Lord have a greater reason to give thanks to God. God has declared us right with him, not because of something we have done or because of religious rituals we have observed, but simply because of what God has accomplished in Christ to save us. So it is fitting to conclude this week of celebration by praising God for Christ and the gospel.
In this section, the apostle Paul has reminded us of three great possessions of those declared right with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have peace with God, we have gained access into grace in which we now stand, and we confidently rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. This hope is secure, because even our afflictions only act to produce more hope, because God’s love has been poured out into our inner persons by the Holy Spirit. And this love is overwhelming strong, because God loved us when we were powerless, ungodly sinners that were his enemies.
II.        We boast in God because of the secure future we have in Jesus Christ (5:9-10).
A.        Justification guarantees glorification (cf. 8:29-30).
1.         The apostle uses a greater to less form of argument (cf. 8:32). If God justified or declared right his enemies, then he will certainly save, in the fullest sense, those who are reconciled to him.
2.         The blood of Christ, the pouring out of his life unto death on the cross, secures our justification (5:9). God can justly declare us right with him, because of the value and power of Christ’s blood. His life poured out in death makes sure the salvation of his people; that is, those who repent and believe in him.
3.         Notice the phrase “will be saved”. This refers to salvation in its complete sense. When I was in contracting, we didn’t build homes to fill up empty property. We built them to sell them for people to live in. The wise God did not send his Son to die for nothing. He did not send his Son to die, wondering if anyone would choose to believe and be saved. God’s purpose will be accomplished. He will have a people who will glorify him forever.
Apply: This is one of the necessary bases of being able to boast in God. Our salvation doesn’t depend on our faithfulness, but on what Jesus Christ accomplished for his people forever. If you realize the completeness of salvation, you can boast in the Lord regardless of life’s varying circumstances.
B.        This guarantee is secured by Christ (5:9b, 10b; cf. 1 Th 1:10; 5:9).
1.         Christ’s life is security for the life of his people (cf. Jn 14:19). You cannot separate the death of Christ from the resurrection life of our Lord. If we have the benefits of his death, how much more will we have the benefits of his resurrection life!
2.         His life points toward his continual intercession for his people (Heb 7:25). He knew he was giving his life for wayward sheep. He was not shocked by our desperate condition when he died for us. He is not shocked by the spiritual messes we get ourselves into.
3.         His life means that all things are now in his hands (Mt 28:18; Eph 1:22). He is the Risen Lord; all power and authority is his. We can trust him to fulfill all of God’s wise and holy purposes.
Apply: Are you reconciled to God? What exactly is the hope that you are reconciled?
III.       We boast in God because of the relationship we now have with him (5:11).
Comment: We should never forget what we were before we came to be in Christ. But we must also never confuse what we were with what we now are in Christ.
A.        Though we rejoice in what God has done and will do for us, we also rejoice in God during the present.
1.         We have been reconciled to God. Here is one of the great truths of true Christianity. God enters into a personal relationship with those who believe in Jesus. We are now his people, his friends, and his children. Salvation is worthwhile now (cf. 1 Pt 1:8).
2.         If we grasp the contrast between what we were and what we now are, then we will truly have great reason to boast in God now! But let us ask, are you boasting in God now? Do you rejoice in the Lord in this present situation? Are you glad because you know the God of glory and of grace?
B.        Our present glorying in God takes place through Jesus Christ.
1.         We always and only have access to God through Jesus Christ the Lord. Once again we are reminded of the glory of new covenant worship. We go to the Father through him at all times.
2.         This means that we must cultivate our personal relationship with our Mediator and Great High Priest. This involves spending time with the Lord. Listening to his words in the Bible and communicating with him by prayer.
1.         Christian, what is it that secured your justification? Yes, it originated in God’s grace and it came to us through the channel of faith. But it is the death of Christ by this shed blood on the cross that purchased it. Believer, you owe everything to what God has done in the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you praising him, glorying in him, and boasting in him?
2.         Why might some professing Christians not boast in the Lord? Let me suggest three.
a.         Some fail to grasp the truth of justification by grace through faith in Christ alone. They think that what finally makes everything work is their own faith or effort. Therefore, they boast in themselves. This is at the core of all consumer religion. They think they can have things their way, because what really matters is their faith or their works.
b.         Some partly see the truth of justifying grace, but then rely on their works or religious rituals to try to influence God to really like them. After all, when you give someone a gift, don’t you like to see some gratitude on their part? And then are you just a little more pleased with them than you were before? And so people reconstruct God in their image. But the true God is an overflowing river of love and grace. But notice again that the acceptance rests on the reconciliation accomplished by the Lord Christ. God already really likes you!
c.         Some look too much at their own heart and far too little at Jesus the Lord. They are always checking their pulse, instead of listening to the beat of his almighty heart of love.
My friends, I ask you again, “Is Jesus Christ your real hope of salvation? Or have you secretly been depending on your faith, your good works, and/or your performance of religious rituals?” You can be free from all such worries today. Rest on Christ alone.
~ Dave
Pastor Dave Frampton
The faithful and spiritually profitable labors of Dave Frampton are featured here at CMC. As a Bible teacher he excels. Teachers and student alike will profit much from his labor in the God’s Word. Visit Newtown Square Baptist Church.